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Emerging Technologies: 3D Printers

A guide to technologies that are appearing in professional literature and professional blogs that may be of current or future use in libraries, archives or museums in Alaska.

Sources for 3D Files

Below are some sources for 3D files. Some are ready to print, others will require tweaking.

3D Printing

With a 3D printer, you can actually form physical objects, even gears that can be assembled into a working model. A 3D printer usually prints with hot plastic, but there are some food printers out there in case you'd like some space shuttle shaped chicken nuggets. 3D printers can be expensive - $1,500 for a "home" model and up to tens of thousands of dollars. You'll also need a computer model to print some. Some are publicly available and some you or your patrons may need to create themselves. They can also take from hours to days to print. Despite these drawbacks, they are currently being used in places like the Fayetteville (NY) Free Library and some museums

3D Printing in Alaska

Here are some organizations in the state using 3D printing. If you know of an Alaskan organization with 3d printing capability, please let us know. The Alaska State Library does not endorse any particular group or vendor doing 3D printing. 

Resources and Articles

Planetary Gears on a Printrbot 3D Printer